Everywhere you turn, it seems like there’s another terrible thing going on in our society. From bills being passed that are determined to take away our rights to families being torn apart from harsh immigration laws. Staying uplifted can start to feel like a chore. Trust me, I get it.
However, I’ve found that even in the midst of all of this madness, finding joy in the little things can make ALL the difference. One of these things can be smiling at a stranger as you pass them in the store. I know. It sounds silly, but a smile can go a really long way. If you don’t believe me, I’ve listed seven reasons why smiling more often can make the madness a little more bearable.
#1. Smiling is free.
Believe it or not, smiling is 100% free and does not require a whole lot of brain power on your part. In this, the season of the millennial, that last thing I know anyone of us wants to do is blow money on something that we think will make us happy.
Why not take advantage of something pure, at no cost to you and can have a rippling effect on the people you encounter? Dale Carnegie, author of the book How To Win Friends And Influence People wrote, “A smile costs nothing, but creates much. It enriches those who receive, without impoverishing those who give. It happens in a flash and the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.”
Doesn’t that sound amazing and easy to do?
#2. Walking around with a smile can boost your mood.
If that’s not enough for you, smiling can also boost your mood. Yes, it can make you, the person smiling, happier. Go with me here. Every time you smile, your brain does a little jump for joy. In other words, it triggers neural messages that can have a positive impact on your mental health and happiness.
When you smile, your brain releases serotonin and endorphins into the body which naturally can relax you and relieve any depression-like symptoms you may be experiencing. You can actually trick your brain into thinking that a situation is not so bad, and all with a simple smile.
So, the next time life has you feeling bummy, woo-sah, take some deep breaths, and just smile. Even one smile can make a world of difference.
#3. Smiling is contagious!
Smiling has to be one of the most infectious things on our beautiful planet Earth. Think about all the times you pass someone, whether it be in a store or on the street, and then there’s that awkward moment of eye contact and that quick movement of looking away from them. Come on! We ALL do it, I included!
Now, think of those same moments where you made eye contact with someone, and they smiled at you. How did that make you feel? Suddenly the unexpected connection takes a hold of you, and you find yourself smiling back at them. And it’s a beautiful little moment. Am I right?
I conclude that if you smile more, you’ll have a huge hand in spreading some of this innocent joy and making someone’s awkward moment something to smile on. In a time where it seems like hate is spreading like wildfire, having a smile on your face can bring the love to fuel it out.
#4. Smiling has the power to relieve stress and anxiety.
Stress can have numerous harmful effects on our mental, physical, and emotional health. Over time, stress can appear on our face in the form of dull eyes and sunken cheeks and even affect our appetite. It can also lead to emotional and mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Important: If you feel your depression has gone beyond your control, you can reach out to DrJane Zhao Psychologist Brisbane, a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in treating both depression and anxiety using several therapeutic methods.
Smiling can prevent this and counteract the effects that stress can leave on the body. A study was conducted by two psychological scientists Tara Kraft, and Sarah Pressman, to research how smiling can relieve stress. The study found that the patients who kept a smile on their face after performing a stressful task had a faster heart rate recovery time than those who kept neutral facial expressions. See, science even says it’s true.
#5. Smiling can help out your immune system.
So far we’ve learned that smiling is free, reduces stress, makes you happier and can make other people happier too. And what’s this? It can also help your immune system? Get out of town!
It’s true though. When you smile, it’s believed that your body produces more white blood cells which are designed to fight off infections and diseases. Additionally, smiling will help your body feel more relaxed due to the release of certain neurotransmitters. I mean, it’s commonly said that laughter is the best medicine. That statement didn’t just come out of nowhere.
#6. Having a smile on your face makes you more approachable.
I’m sure we’ve all heard of the term “resting bitch face”. I myself am a proud sponsor of resting bitch face and find myself succumbing to it more and more. To be 100 with you guys, it’s not the most approachable look and I know I’m not the person you’re hearing this from. We know that that look just screams “leave me alone”, and “your whole existence bothers me.”
Most of the time we can’t help it. It’s just our face, but nobody wants to walk up to that. If you instead have a smile on your face, it makes people more comfortable and you more approachable. Also, it gives people an invitation to speak to you rather than being intimidated.
#7. Smiling can kick your confidence up a couple of notches.
Lastly, one of the most beautiful and sexy things about a person is their confidence. In this day and age, people can smell insecurity from a mile away because we’re all battling insecurities of some kind. Now, you can either let your insecurities control you or you, master of your own body and mind, can throw a smile on and strut the streets in confidence!
I can say from personal experience that even if I hated my outfit or my hair, I walked outside with a big smile on my face, exuding confidence, and soon my disdain for my outfit and hair didn’t even phase me. It’s all about confidence baby, and smiling is a sure fire to let your confident self-shine!
About The Author:
Elizabeth Marks is a freelance writer with a passion for learning new things. She writes regularly about Medical, Health, and Nutrition.